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The money will be used to support local NJ news providers covering the new coronavirus in their communities

Journalists at newsrooms of all sizes are being furloughed, laid off, or facing pay cuts while advertising revenue continues to plummet. Smaller news organizations, especially those with few personnel and no significant financial backing, are among those hurting the most.

As Poynter’s Kristen Hare puts it, “It’s getting hard to keep track of the bad news about the news right now.”

As this crisis continues to impact our communities and our partners, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is launching new programs to help address some of these issues in New Jersey. …


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New Jersey publishers will focus on local news revenue projects

Late last year, we announced a new round of micro-awards aimed at supporting projects and experiments focused on bringing in more money for local news publishers in New Jersey. The program is called Grow + Strengthen: Revenue, and it provides stipends of up to $5,000 each — plus business coaching and a free year of LION Publishers membership.

Grow + Strengthen is a program the Center has sponsored before, but it’s been a while; we announced our first round of participants back in 2013. We did it again in 2014, but that time we focused on supporting investigative reporting.

Today, we’re excited to announce our 2020 cohort! The stipends for this year’s recipients are made possible thanks to funding from the New Jersey Local News Lab, a partnership between Democracy Fund, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Community Foundation of New Jersey. …


A featured imaged showing the 2020 Excellence in Local News Awards badge and logo.
A featured imaged showing the 2020 Excellence in Local News Awards badge and logo.

Winners to be honored at ceremony and luncheon in New Brunswick on March 5

The Center for Cooperative Media is thrilled to announce the winners of the third annual NJ News Commons Excellence in Local News Awards.

We will honor the seven winners during an awards ceremony and luncheon on March 5 at Harvest Moon Brewery in New Brunswick, where each will be presented with an award certificate and $100 prize for work they did in 2019 in the fields of local news innovation, collaboration, investigative reporting, campus reporting, sustainability, and engagement. We will also present the award for Partner of the Year.

The judges for this year’s contest were Kristine Villanueva of the Center for Public Integrity, Mark Berkey-Gerard of Rowan University, and Miriam Ascarelli of the NJ Society of Professional Journalists. …


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Grants will exclusively fund revenue-related projects for local New Jersey publishers

THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR THIS PROGRAM HAS CLOSED.

In 2013, the Center for Cooperative Media launched the first round of its Grow + Strengthen program.

The goal was to give micro-grants to a handful of hyperlocal news startups in New Jersey to help ease some of the financial burdens associated with starting your own news outlet. We did it again the following year, this time focusing on local publishers looking to spend more time doing investigative reporting. Over the course of two years, we seeded and nurtured a total of 15 local news and information projects across the state.

Five years later, we’re excited to announce the latest iteration of the program, which we’ve dubbed Grow + Strengthen: Revenue. …


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You’ve done some amazing work this year. Help us make sure you’re recognized for it.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

A lot has happened in the world of local journalism this year — and it doesn’t look like that’s about to change any time soon.

We still don’t really know what to do about the spread of misinformation, let alone the general lack of trust between newsrooms and the communities they serve. The fight to protect journalists and press freedom more broadly rages on both at home and abroad. …


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Peer Learning + Collaboration Fund grantees visited City Bureau in Chicago to learn more about the Documenters and Public Newsroom programs. Photo by Joe Amditis.

‘Share + Learn’ events with City Bureau and Outlier Media draw more than a dozen people each; next one planned in October with The Texas Tribune

In its second cycle of grant-making, the Peer Learning + Collaboration Fund supported peer-to-peer learning for journalists from New Hampshire to Illinois to California.

That includes the $17,000 we awarded over the last few months to assist journalists with travel to our “Share + Learn” events with City Bureau and Outlier Media.

And there’s still a lot more to come! (And still plenty of time for YOU to apply!)

The Peer Fund is an initiative to facilitate and accelerate peer learning, relationship building and collaboration among journalists, media makers and communicators in the United States. …


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Top row, from left: Malika Jenkins, Anabella Poland, Gianluca D’Elia, Kei-Sygh Thomas, Luisa Ortiz Pérez. Bottom row, from left: Pat Cicchetti, Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh, Hiral Patel, Denise Clay, Asia Martin.

The awards are meant to help NJ journalists attend events hosted by organizations working to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in media

Last year, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University launched an award fund dedicated to helping New Jersey journalists attend trainings, events and conferences hosted by organizations that work toward improving diversity, equity and inclusion in media.

Such organizations include the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and NLGJA — The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

The grant provides stipends of $500 on average for these local journalists to attend eligible events. The funding for these stipends is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Local News Lab Fund, a partnership between Democracy Fund, the Geraldine R. …


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The decennial Census will be here before you know it — the time to prep is now!

This guide will help you arrange a training about the 2020 Census. And, OpenNews can offset some costs with a small grant!

The U.S. Census is a monumental task that shapes the inner workings of our nation’s democracy, and the results of the upcoming Census will deeply affect communities for years to come. That’s why it is critical for media to play a role in getting accurate and timely information about the Census out to their audiences.

With that in mind, the Center for Cooperative Media has put together a guide to help you organize a 2020 Census workshop for local journalists. We’ve also discussed the guide with the U.S. …


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Students met at River Barge Park for a reporter’s roundtable and riverboat reporting trip on the Hackensack River. (Photo by Steve McCarthy.)

Students from six colleges and universities committed to work together, produce environmental-focused coverage this fall

The oceans are going to swallow our coastlines. The storms are going to keep getting worse. Global temperatures will continue to rise. Also, the bees are dying.

When you consider the sheer magnitude of the problems we’re facing regarding climate change, it’s hard to be optimistic. Which is why it’s so inspiring to see groups of college students and advisers come together to report on those problems — and hopefully some solutions to them — in the face of it all.

And that’s exactly what is happening in New Jersey.

Student reporters, editors and advisers from six colleges and universities from across New Jersey — including Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, The College of New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rowan University, and New Jersey City University — recently kicked off a semester-long climate collaboration project for fall 2019. …


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Attendees at the 2019 Collaborative Journalism Summit.

The money is meant to help New Jersey journalists attend events hosted by organizations working to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in media

Last year, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University launched an award fund dedicated to helping New Jersey journalists attend trainings, events and conferences hosted in 2018 by organizations that work toward improving diversity, equity and inclusion in media.

In previous rounds, we awarded three sets of nearly $15,000 in grants for journalists in our state to attend events put on by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) and the NLGJA — The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. …

About

Joe Amditis

Joe is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University and the host of the WTF Just Happened Today? podcast.

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